People caught with Class A drugs in Scotland could be given a police warning instead of facing prosecution.
Officers can already issue a formal warning for possession of lower category drugs.
Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain told MSPs this would now include Class A drugs in a bid to address the underlying causes of Scotland's drugs death crisis.
The Conservatives said the move amounts to "de facto decriminalisation" of deadly substances.
Ms Bain insisted this was not the case, adding that there is "no one size fits all" response to drug addiction and that every case should be judged individually.
She stressed that the scheme would not extend to drug dealing and that officers would still have the ability to report certain cases to prosecutors.